Every other week or so, I start a post about Noah's eating habits. Even though I know there is nothing more futile than ranting about a toddler's eating habits. And nothing more boring than reading about a toddler's eating habits.
But surprise! That doesn't stop me! I grab the laptop, my sweet hot purring coping mechanism, and start blamming away on the keyboard because WHY! WON'T! MY! KID! FUCKING! EAT! ANYTHING! GAAARRGH! ANGRY! SMASH!
And then I get to the point where I list the pathetic cluster of foods Noah is currently accepting, and I calm down. Because you know what? It could be a lot worse. I might joke and say that he only eats two foods, but look! There are six or seven things on that list! Toss in a multi-vitamin and it's okay. We're doing okay.
So I wipe the rejected hummus from my brow, delete the entry and go on to face breakfast with a renewed determination and purpose.
Which brings us to today.
(puts head down on laptop keyboaar348ooudfj;asd, weee3o3ps)
You want today's list of Things My Kid Will Eat? Here is the list of Things My Kid Will Eat:
- Yogurt, but not from a spoon.
- Orange-colored cheddar cheese, but only on Thursdays.
Seriously. That is it. Unless you count our checkbook, half of which he ate today.
Our go-to foods (peanut butter on crackers, hummus, pureed fruits) are currently on the shit list, along with everything that requires a spoon. Put a spoon in front of his mouth and he'll twist his entire head around and weep, for spoooons! No spooooons!
I taught him to use the spoon himself and had great success for about two days, which is when the novelty wore off and he remembered: spoooooons! Haaaaate spoooooooons!
Anything that fails the Squish Test is hurled on the floor without a taste. (That is, anything that "squishes" or "mushes" when you suspiciously press your suspicious thumb into it = DO NOT WANT.) Thus, fruit and vegetables and pasta and bread and rice and meats are all out, and why cheese is often a hit-or-miss proposition.
Actually, Noah's on-and-off relationship with cheese is the first story I'll tell when I get back into therapy, since I think it correlates very closely with the Losing Of My Mind and Why I Think Mid-Day Drinking Is Way Misunderstood.
I bought some cheddar cheese snack sticks at Trader Joe's ages ago -- back when Noah was still eating anything and everything in front of him, and I was Great with Smug, for behold! My child eats Indian food! And falafel! No children's menu chicken fingers for US!** -- and Noah loved them. And all was good. Until I forgot to buy them one week. But I had some string cheese! So I gave him some string cheese.
And lo, Noah hated the string cheese. In fact, he hated it so much that when I tried the cheddar cheese a few days later, he refused to even taste it. For nothing would ever erase the trauma of THAT TIME I FED HIM STRING CHEESE.
I kept trying with the cheese, and finally he started eating it again. And all was good. Until I sent Jason to the grocery store one week. And he came back with a block of cheddar cheese instead of the snack sticks. But there is no difference! Plus it is cheaper! So I gave him some of that cheddar cheese.
Yeah. It was another month before Noah would eat cheese again. I...I don't know either, but I know I sprouted about three wrinkles just typing all that out.
Today I loosened the dog's collar for the third time in a month, since she's on a steady diet of waffles and Goldfish crackers and lentils and chicken and macaroni and peas and carrots and cereal bars and probably horked-up pieces of our checkbook.
We've had a few successes -- milk and yogurt smoothies are a hit, and he not only loves Trader Joe's Green Plant Juice, he loves it enough to let me sneak cartons of Gerber vegetables into it to further boost its veggie power. And...um...one time he ate a bug!
I read Linda's recent Toddler Eating Gaaarrgh Angry Smash post about Riley's habits (macaroni and cheese! what I would GIVE for a child who ate macaroni and cheese! or chicken fingers!**) and Katie suggested frozen vegetables, right from the bag. First I thought: gross. And then I thought: Squish Test! that will pass the Squish Test!
He ate handfuls of frozen corn the first day I gave it to him. Handfuls! And I wept with joy! I called Jason and immediately told him about how brilliant I was: corn! frozen corn! I totally thought that up myself and single-handedly, I have saved our child from rickets. Now please pick up some frozen peas on your way home; the ones in our freezer expired in 2003.
Now he's just shoving the corn and peas up his nose and in his ears.
So my question is: if something sprouts up there, should I just pull it out or use the weed-wacker?
No, haaa, I'm kidding. That is a joke. A very exhausted joke. My real question is...hmm. I don't know. I don't even hope to win this fight, I just want to stop fighting. Since the fighting I've done has just made it so much worse. I've gotten mad, I've stormed out of the room. I've pretended that I don't care either way. I've begged and pleaded and applauded each and every bite.
Basically, this has become a Thing because he senses that it's a Thing and I've made it a Thing. I don't want it to be a Thing anymore.
How do I not make it a Thing?
I feed him all three meals most days and by dinnertime I am fleeing to the computer to ASK THE INTERNET FOR ADVICE. And that's the first sign of total flipping insanity, y'all.
Do I keep trying? Do I keep offering new and/or previously rejected foods? Or do I just give him what he'll eat and be done with it? Do I go to every possible length to get a good meal into him or do I just (gulp) toss food down and let him and the hunger pangs sort it out?
Help me, Obi-Wan Internetobi. You're my only hope.
Well, except for my pediatrician. Or maybe a trip to the bookstore. Or even a decent Google search. But after that? Only hope. All the way.
**the Karma! it burrrrrns!